Family of Kissimmee student in classroom fight video may sue
Teacher's assistants may lose jobs after classroom fight
The family of the student being involved in the classroom fight caught on video announced on Monday it will potentially suing the Osceola County School District.
Kristie Gilmore and Mona Sagar were arrested after the incident on Friday on aggravated battery charges.
Both have been removed from the classroom at Discovery Intermediate School in Kissimmee, and Gilmore said the Osceola County school board will vote on Tuesday on whether the two should keep their jobs.
The family said on Monday they will potentially sue the district and the Discovery Intermediate School after the student was beaten in his classroom while student aides watched.
According to the family's lawyer, the fight occurred after the student responded to being teased about his race and national origin.
The family's lawyer released a statement on the family's behalf:
“Our son has been suffering from bullying and aggressions at school since the Spring of 2013 and it has become apparent that the trust which we placed in his teaching staff at Discovery Intermediate School was misplaced. What transpired in the video which has been on TV was bad enough, but similar bullying and aggression have been ongoing at school for some time now. This was despite his repeated complaints of being bullied, which fell on deaf ears at school. Although the school’s web site main page made this past November “Bullying Prevention Awareness Month”, our son complaints went unanswered and he was actually going to be punished for the incident of January 9, 2014 before the Sheriff’s Office investigated. The school’s responses to my son’s complaints could best be characterized as deliberate indifference to his situation and his need for their help by this school’s administration.
Our son has a severe congenital heart condition which the school was aware of, he has undergone several heart surgeries in his lifetime and he will likely need another in the near future. If our son had in fact been stomped in the chest at school as was threatened, it likely would have killed him. Due to his condition, and the recent passing of his father, he has been in need of help at school and was placed into the Special Education class where this incident occurred. It is clear to us that changes need to be made in the Discovery Intermediate School special education programs and it is our sincere hope that such changes are implemented by the school to prevent situations like this from happening again.
We would also like to thank the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and hard work in this matter.”
The family's identity is being withheld to prevent further bullying to the student, according to the lawyer.
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